April 28, 2008

Indian Premier League

IPL tested by Harbhajan-Sreesanth row

Nishi Narayanan

Harbhajan Singh has been temporarily suspended from the Mumbai Indians side for his on-field altercation with Sreesanth and the Hindustan Times editors wonder if they were wrong in presuming the new professionalism among Indian cricketers would actually spur IPL rivals to egg each other on when it comes to playing for India.

According to the Indian Express editorial, the BCCI should be concerned about the iconisation of its cricketers.

It was obviously felt that an Indian icon was required by the squads for a sense of city loyalty to coalesce around each of them. Without the stars, it could be said, the IPL as a summertime entertainer would not be possible.

Harbhajan’s outrageous — though unsurprising — behaviour shows the dangers of nurturing the star system.

In the Times of India Sanjay Manjrekar writes that the clash has given the IPL governing council and excellent opportunity opportunity to show the cricketing world and especially its skeptics, that underneath all its million dollars and the glamour, the fanfare and the uninhibited commercialisation of the sport, rests a pure cricketing soul.

Mid-Day, a Mumbai-based tabloid, carries an account of an on-field brawl between Farokh Engineer, the match referee in the Mohali game, and team-mate Abid Ali in a Prudential Cup match in 1975.

The Engineer-Abid scrap did not get physical but water was thrown at each other much to the disgust of late manager G S Ramchand whose expensive suit was more than just damp.

Also read the letters to the Hindu editor from readers disappointed with the incident.

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Nishi Narayanan is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

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